Volcano erupts on remote island in Indonesia, country issues tsunami alert

Volcano eruption. [Photo: Wikimedia Commons]

Indonesian authorities instructed hundreds of villagers to leave their homes on Wednesday after repeated eruptions of a volcano on a remote island raised concerns that it could collapse into the sea and cause a tsunami.

According to CNN International, Mount Ruang, a 725-meter volcano on Ruang Island in North Sulawesi, erupted at least five times since Tuesday night, sending fiery lava and ash plumes thousands of feet into the air, according to the country’s volcanology agency.

Hendra Gunawan, the agency’s chief, told CNN that the volcano alert had been raised to the highest level, advising people to stay at least 6 kilometers away from the peak due to fears of a potential collapse into the water and subsequent tsunami, similar to an event in 1871.

Gunawan explained that recent earthquakes in the area triggered the eruptions. Mount Ruang is classified as a stratovolcano, known for its steep, conical shape resulting from the buildup of thick, slow-moving lava. Stratovolcanoes often produce explosive eruptions due to gas accumulation in the magma.

Videos of Wednesday’s eruptions depicted gray ash clouds rising into the sky and streams of lava accompanied by lightning. Villagers were seen being evacuated in the footage.

Approximately 800 residents of Ruang Island have relocated temporarily to Tagulandang Island, with officials cautioning them to watch out for falling rocks and hot ash surges.

There have been no reports of casualties so far.

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